Simulation is fast becoming an integral part of health professional education, including interprofessional education (IPE). There are numerous reports of positive student reactions to this innovative teaching strategy. However, there remains a need for evidence of positive learning outcomes from studies using methodological rigor and validated evaluation strategies. The purpose of this literature review and synthesis is to examine research studies of simulation-based interprofessional education (IPE), with a focus on study design and evaluation strategies. A literature search was conducted using CINAHL, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO for the years 1999–2009. A total of 25 studies met the established inclusion criteria, namely, (a) both simulation and IPE were reported, (b) research study results were presented, and (c) quantitative assessment and /or outcome measures were reported. Although positive effects of simulation-based IPE were revealed, a wide range of educational interventions used outcome measures that were investigator-developed questionnaires lacking psychometric testing. Given these findings, the authors suggest that the use of an evaluation framework that defines outcomes and a quality improvement model to structure a disciplined approach to designing and testing an intervention could provide the scientific foundation for measuring effectiveness of simulation-based IPE.
KeyWords: interprofessional education; simulation; evaluation